Why online advice is dangerous

laptop with screen showing medium website with a lot of online advice
Medium is becoming a major source of online advice for me and I’m getting worried

It’s 8:00am in the morning on a weekday and I’m sitting in my living room mindlessly having breakfast. My attention is being given to the Medium posts appearing on my feed this morning. In this particular week, I’m occupied by thoughts about careers, so I tap into posts that discuss the topic.

As far as I can tell, this has happened for many weeks or months, even. Since a lot of them sound flat-out like advice, I’ve basically become habituated to fishing for online advice every morning regarding important areas of life like career, relationships, personal growth, and more.

Continue reading “Why online advice is dangerous”

Adapt and forget

sapling
Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash

The air conditioner in my office is really loud but I just realised this: I hadn’t noticed it at all!

Today when the air conditioner stopped suddenly, the office felt almost pin-drop silent, except I could still hear the ringing in my ears. The machine had been bellowing like a Ferrari – unnecessarily loud, but without the sexy to make it at least slightly palatable.

While my damaged ears were still ringing, I scribbled this in my notebook: we adapt and forget that we adapted.

Continue reading “Adapt and forget”

Bad software – Kopitiam top up machine

guy looking stressed presumably because of the kopitiam top up machine
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Enough is enough.

We live in 2017 in a world where tech exists in every nook and cranny of our daily lives. Everyone has picked up a vocabulary of tech – gestures, button symbols, emojis (and emoji shortcuts :+1:), and so on.

Therefore it’s no longer cute (or excusable on the part of the developer) in my opinion to put out poorly designed software (in) products. Sloppy software delights nobody and frustrates practically everybody. Especially developers!

So in a bid to raise the overall standard of tech, I’m going to call out organisations that put out crappy, sub-standard software into the modern world.

First up, Kopitiam.

Continue reading “Bad software – Kopitiam top up machine”

Getting good and getting a dream job

dream job depicted by a laptop with a code editor open
Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Now that we’re coming close to the end of 2017, I’ve been thinking about my career and careers in general. Having begun my career as a software engineer about a year ago, I thought it’d be timely and useful to do some reflection.

Continue reading “Getting good and getting a dream job”

Nike shoes designer Tinker Hatfield on design

tinker hatfield
Tinker Hatfield and one of the sneakers he designed (I’d be surprised if that assumption is wrong)

I recently re-started to organise what my good friend Kegan and I call “docu-nights” where we watch a documentary film together at my place. There’s never an awkward obligation to sit together and engage in intellectual conversations after these films, but we often wax philosophical in areas unrelated to the film anyway.

This post is my notes from an evening spent watching Abstract: The Art of Design season 1 episode 2 about the designs of Tinker Hatfield.

Continue reading “Nike shoes designer Tinker Hatfield on design”

Saying the obvious

an arrow carved into the wall pointing a direction saying the obvious
Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

It’s important to say the obvious.

Because obvious is not always obvious to everyone.

Because obvious is only obvious at a certain time, in our lives and in a day. Something always comes along and obscures it.

Because the obvious will always slip into oblivion without timely reminders. Like “you should write down how grateful you are each day because it’s good for you and those around in so many ways.”

Because we only arrive at the obvious when we have first seen something and thought about it with clarity. Perhaps through writing daily.

Because things of a trade only become obvious when we come close to being masters of that trade. And not everyone is a master yet.

So for these reasons and more, we must not be afraid to say the obvious. We must instead do it so that we can grow, and so can others.

Litmus test for having enough rest

laptop and cup of cappuccino on wooden table
Photo by Nolan Issac on Unsplash

I turn to coffee when I’m tired and still have some time left in the day to work. But when I brew or order that cup of coffee in a situation like that, I know I’m drinking for utility, not enjoyment.

“But you can enjoy a cup of coffee and get the caffeine kick from it”, I hear you say. And I fully agree with that. But I’m always able to recognise the trigger for wanting coffee, and the trigger for me to drink coffee these days is almost always sleepiness or fatigue. On days like these, coffee is just a tasty drug for boosting my energy levels (to be paid back later).

So when I’m feeling sluggish, I turn to coffee.

Continue reading “Litmus test for having enough rest”

Irritability overseas versus at home

singapore roads viewed from overhead bridge
At Beach Road in Singapore

We recently went to Bali again. It was our 6th trip there this time. I guess you could say we’re a little obsessed with the place.

We really like the affordable and good food, cheap motorbike rental, friendly locals, long beach with people from all over the world vacationing in their own, differentiated ways…

Continue reading “Irritability overseas versus at home”